It's Thanksgiving, but not for Thomas. Thanks to his addiction, he is homeless, without family, who would otherwise be at a table around a warm meal. Tonight, Thomas sits under an overpass with his last rock. Then, out of nowhere, Thomas smashes his fix with his heel, determined that next year will be different. He will get his life back.
Going Cold Turkey - an event when someone declares their independence from a substance or an addictive element, usually by destroying or throwing away the addictive element. Side effects include withdrawals, erratic behaviors and (in rare cases), self imprisonment. As opposed to real abstinence from an addictive element, in fiction, this is a relatively short- lived period, and the character usually ends up for the better. This is easier said than done.
There's even a 70's movie completely themed by this trope, noted by the poster for this post. It's hard to go wrong when Dick van Dyke is involved!
This trope has been used in a variety of ways with many common (and completely unthought of) elements that a character may deem destructive to themselves. If you know Eddie Dean's story, a man stuck on heroin from Stephen King's famous Dark Tower series, then you know how that worked out for him.
It's not always easy for a character to choose to Go Cold Turkey. Sometimes they are in a position where the element is not availible, as was the case with Charlie from Lost, also a heroin addict. Even when the stuff crashed on the island, he was able to keep away from it.
Ain't that right, Charlie? ... Charlie?
Don't do it, Charlie!
This trope gets a bad rep for its use with drugs, but people can be addicted to and Go Cold Turkey from anything ... even pancakes!
"Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat ..."
We're seeing forced Cold Turkey now as folks across the country suffer from Twinkie Withdrawals. Yeah, the Hostess company closed. Good thing I grabbed a few boxes before the official announcement went out (did I say that out loud? *hides boxes*), but you know, sometimes it's for the best. Sure, Cold Turkey is hard, and that makes for an interesting character struggle, and deep inside, we all want that character to win, but we'll still come to love him if he fails.
Ever had your character Go Cold Turkey? Have you? Is there someone you know who did this and succeeded/working on it?
I'm David, and I picked the wrong week to quit eating crullers!